Saturday, March 07, 2009

Struggle Street or Easy-Peasey Avenue?

Sometimes eating well is just a breeze. Then there are the days where almost every meal is a struggle. My Inner Fat Girl constantly whispers in my ear that I need extra calories, extra carbs, or a treat meal. On my worst days, she just says the hell with it and tells me it won't hurt to have those M & Ms. And if you're eating those, you may as well have that leftover cake. And some toast.

Funny, she never urges me to eat a tasty piece of chicken breast. Or veggies.

Lately, it's been mostly easy to stick to my nutrition guidelines. There are a few reasons for that, and I thought I'd share them:

1. I'm not trying to exist on starvation rations. I've been down that road before and trust me, it's a dead end. If I eat only slightly less than my body needs most days, I don't begin to lose the plot and dream of pizza. Sure, it's a slow process, no dramatic losses here to attract a crowd of ooh-ing and ah-ing admirers, but do I care? I'd rather do it slowly and keep my sanity, thanks.

2. I'm eating food that's delicious. Choking down unappealing or repetitive meals for more than a day or two will take me down Lose The Plot Street too. I'm thankful that I have a few cooking skills, a bit of imagination and the willingness to experiment. Gee, just imagine if the souffle omelette had never been born.... *breaks out in a cold sweat at the thought*

3. Thanks to Liz's influence, I've learned to be a Dirty Diana. I know that a teaspoon of jam or cocoa, an extra egg yolk, some smoked trout or a handful of breakfast cereal added to a meal isn't going to instantly attach itself to my arse. It will, however contribute to yummy meals (see #2 above).

4. I don't do free days. Oh yeah, I learned this one the hard way.... I'm not very good at stopping when I've had enough (Hi, my name is Kerryn, and I'm a binge eater). Hell, it's even taken me years to learn to put my knife and fork down now and then, stop eating and come up for air. So a free day is a licence to go completely crazy, eat seventeen squillion Calories - all made up of total crap, of course - and then wonder why I'm not seeing progress. *smacks head on desk*

5. I DO do planned treat meals. Or sometimes unplanned. But I work them into my daily Calories, with an allowance for some extra food once or twice a week. Who wants to live without chocolate, wine, or a meal out that isn't chicken salad?

6. I don't compile lists of foods that I can't have. Nothing is banned. Some things are rationed, sure, or eaten infrequently, but if I really want it, I can have it. #5 lets me work those things in, no problem at all. The Ooh, no: I'm not allowed to eat that mindset is 100% guaranteed to have me circling said "banned" food like a crazed vulture, and eventually I'm going to snap and eat it. Most likely a lot of it. Knowing that I'm in control of my food choices, that it IS a choice, makes a huge difference and ensures that the resentful "it's not fair" sulky, sooky attitude doesn't make an appearance.

7. I eat frequently, like most figure athletes do - but I'm not going to stress about missing a meal, or about my meal timing being slightly off now and then. If I actually get to sleep in on a weekend, and therefore have less hours in my day, then I might only have four meals. That's OK, I get to make them bigger. If I simply can't eat due to unusual circumstances - like yesterday, when I had to visit the dentist: couldn't eat beforehand because brushing my teeth was problematic, and I couldn't eat for an hour after - then so be it. Going 6 hours between breakfast and lunch isn't ideal, but it isn't going to kill me. I have the ability to make adjustments: more or less food, as required.

That's pretty much my approach to nutrition. It isn't brain surgery, and I get to have a life.

If my Inner Fat Girl shows her ugly face, I can usually deal with her. On the odd day that she gets the better of me, it's usually because I've deviated from my approach. I've under-eaten, gone too low on carbs, or been too busy/lazy to prepare decent food and I'm B.O.R.E.D.

Sometimes it's an emotional thing, sure. But I can even use this approach to deal with those moments too. I just need to throw in a treat meal, dirty things up a bit, or have some extra calories that day....there's almost always a solution.


Tonight Bike Boy cooked us roast beef, with roast potatoes, veggies, gravy and Yorkshire puddings. Yum! No way was I missing out on THAT. No need to throw in a treat meal though, I just made it fit within my daily plan.

Easy, see?


K not Kay said...

This seriously ROCKS! :) It is also very reasonable and workable. Now, to convince the world...

And re: earthquake, some of my family members didn't not feel it AT ALL. While some were quite shaken (forgive the pun), and others noticed it, but just went "whatever". We were all in one and the same house. So I can totally see how one suburb would somehow miss it.

Kek said...

Thanks K...yeah, convincing the world is the hard part. I'll settle for convincing a handful of people at a time.

I still don't get how we missed the earthquake. Perhaps Wall E was just too, too absorbing.

LizN said...

Nice post! All of this with the right thought control is a winning ticket in my opinion!


Magda said...

Beautifully said Kek,

I'm trying to live by most of those principles too and am finding myself in a happier and easier place. Some areas still need a lot of work but others are just falling into place. And my Inner Fat Girl is not visiting as often or getting her way when she does.

:-) Magda

Clara said...

Perfect! In other news, I passed my personal trainer certification. Now like you, I am certifiable. :D


Kek said...

Awesome! *high fives Clara*

Texas better watch out!!

Trixie said...

I love this post!! I too am very black or white,free day doesn't work for me. I'm in this for the long haul:)

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